A castaway is someone who's stranded on shore, often after surviving a shipwreck. A sailor who swims to a small island after a terrible storm can call herself a castaway.

A castaway is more likely to be a character in a book than a real person, although occasionally a survivor has found him or herself washed up on an island. Some theories about what happened to the pilot Amelia Earhart after her disappearance include the idea that she was a castaway on some Pacific island. In the 15th century, a castaway was "one who is rejected." The deserted island survivor meaning came along in the late 1700s.

Definitions of castaway

n a shipwrecked person

shipwreck survivor
Type of:
abandoned person
someone for whom hope has been abandoned

n a person who is rejected (from society or home)

Ishmael, outcast, pariah
heretic, misbeliever, religious outcast
a person who holds religious beliefs in conflict with the dogma of the Roman Catholic Church
a pariah who is avoided by others
Harijan, untouchable
belongs to lowest social and ritual class in India
Type of:
unfortunate, unfortunate person
a person who suffers misfortune

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